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A bold shift into high value products

01.08.2017

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Slurry technology

Thanks to MARPOL, refineries have more incentive than ever to exit the bunker fuel market and shift their production to lucrative products such as gasoline, jet fuel and diesel.

Slurry technology represents an excellent opportunity. While it is the most expensive option for refineries, it offers the highest rates of conversion and a way to produce more premium grade products that command higher prices. 


Unmatched high-end processing
ENI’s Slurry Technology (EST), together with Topsoe’s downstream upgrading technology, enable both existing as well as grassroot refineries to convert any kind of heavy residue to any kind of high-value transportation fuels. It is a proven technology for converting residue oil into high value products. Moreover, thanks to its extremely high feedstock flexibility, EST can even be applied to very low quality crude oils such as heavy and extra heavy oils and tar sands.

Several processes are available for converting residues into lighter products. These processes typically fall into two categories: 1) carbon rejection in form of delayed coking or 2) hydrogen addition with a catalytic process that adds hydrogen to improve product yield and quality.

Highest conversion rate possible
Today, the hydrogen addition route is likely to be more attractive given its high conversion (i.e.>95%), high diesel selectivity and Euro V grade product output. Hydrocracking solutions like fixed-bed and ebullated bed technologies suffer from feedstock quality limitations as well as problems related to residue stability that limit the maximum conversion achievable. These conventional processes produce only modest conversion and as a result, produce a significant amount of low value fuel oil. Slurry technology solution allows refiners to mitigate low value fuel production.

The heart of the process is a slurry reactor that hydrocracks heavy feed into lighter products in the presence of the slurry molybdenum based catalyst. Intermediate products from the slurry section, which are quite challenging, are processed in VGO and diesel upgraders to produce the final products. The VGO and diesel upgrader configurations (i.e. VGO hydrotreater, mild hydrocracker, once through or full conversion hydrocracker, diesel hydrotreater) may vary and depend on the desired product slate.

Benefit from our experience
ENI and Topsoe offer an integrated solution for fully converting all classes of residue feedstocks. These include turning vacuum residue, visbreaker tar, pitch, clarified oil and pyrolysis oil into a variety of high quality distillate products.

We have vast experience in hydroprocessing of the products from the EST process. We have been involved in every phase of projecs, pilot plant testing of products to operating industrial units. Thanks to our experience, we are poised to tailor hydroprocessing catalysts and technology solutions for upgrading slurry hydrocracker products into a range of high quality products such as LPG, naphtha, kerosene/ATF, Euro V grade diesel and lube base feedstock.

Let’s join forces and conduct a study to evaluate the broader implications of deploying slurry technology integrated with VGO and diesel upgrades. We could examine areas such as:

  • Lowering fuel oil production while maximizing the distillates production
  • Eliminating fuel oil production while maximizing the distillates production
  • Meeting additional hydrogen demand which will be required to upgrade the heavy oil
  • Handling increased sulfur production, as well as offer additional capacity

Profit from us
What kind of returns can you expect from an investment in the slurry process technology? Why not talk to Topsoe today?

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Slurry technology flow diagram

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